Area 88
Aug 1989

Capcom's Area 88 takes it name, characters and setting from a hugely popular manga by Kaoru Shintani about a small group of mercenary fighter pilots.
Perfect material for a video game you'd think. And surely enough by 1989 it was Capcom who snapped up the rights, turning it into an excellent horizontal shooting game.
This is Capcom in their prime: detailed and stylish visuals, a superb soundtrack and razor-sharp 2-player action made sure Area 88 was an instant hit. It was also very well received outside of Japan, despite losing the tie-in appeal (manga was yet to take off in the US) and being given the rather generic title 'U.N. Squadron'.
The aim of the game is to blast through enemy territory, earning money by downing foes. After defeating a stage boss you enter a shop where you can equip your ship with superior weaponry and shields for the next stage.
Careful use of these extra weapons is key, since whatever you have left at the end of the stage is reimbursed. You really can't be too spendthrift (or trigger happy) if you want to see the end of this 10-round marathon.
It's your standard late-80s shooting fare, but everything is perfectly executed... You'd expect nothing less from Capcom, who were on a massive roll at the time: after Daimakaimura (1989) and Strider Hiryu (1989) they were riding high as the undeniable masters of arcade game design.
The game's success saw it given a sequel, US Navy (1990) and an excellent conversion on the Super Famicom in July 1991. The SFC version still holds up well also, and remains one of the best shooting games on the platform.
A fondly remembered title!


Arcade flyer

Arcade flyer

Shin Kazama
F-20 Tigershark

Mickey Simon
F-14 Tomcat

Greg Gates
A-10 Thunderbolt

Area 88
Format Super Famicom
Released 26 July 1991
Publisher Capcom
Product ID SHVC-E8
Size (cm) 19 x 10.5 x 3
Weight (kg) 0.16
Capcom's second Super Famicom release is a first-class conversion of their arcade smash.
Despite loosing the arcade's 2-player mode it's still one of tne of the best titles of the genre on SFC.

Standard SFC packaging, 8Mbit cartridge, colour manual.


'Area 88' and 'Capcom' are all registered trademarks of Capcom Co., Ltd.
'Super Famicom' and 'Nintendo' are registered trademarks of Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Area 88 TM & © 1989 Capcom / Daipro All Rights Reserved
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